Friday, 06 November 2015 09:33

Skidmore Remembers Michael Hedges

By Jack Rosen | News
The Skidmore community held a candlelight vigil in memory of a student killed by an allegedly drunk driver on October 31. Two other students were hospitalized and are in fair condition. The Skidmore community held a candlelight vigil in memory of a student killed by an allegedly drunk driver on October 31. Two other students were hospitalized and are in fair condition. Photo by Francesco D’Amico.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Students at Skidmore College had a heartbreaking Halloween this past Saturday, as Thomas M. Gorman, 64, of Saratoga Springs, allegedly struck three Skidmore students with his car – killing one. Michael Hedges, 19, a first year Skidmore student from Lenox, Massachusetts, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center, where he was declared dead at 5:43 a.m. Sunday morning. Also injured were Toby Freeman, a first year student from New York City, and Oban Galbraith, a first year student from Shelburne, Vermont. 

Skidmore College President Phillip A. Glotzbach, wrote in an email to the student body, “This is a very sad time for every member of our campus community.” Glotzbach went on to encourage students to “do everything you can to console and look out for each other as we send our thoughts and prayers to the students and families involved in this tragedy.” 

Student Government Association President Charles Tetelman said in a separate email to the students, “on a small campus, the loss of our own is felt profoundly. We must continue to support and console one another. The coming days, weeks, and months will be challenging, but we will begin to heal together.”

Jonathan Awad, a senior who played club basketball with Hedges, described him as “always a happy fun loving kid, even when tensions started to rise in basketball, he never got upset. He always kept it pretty calm, pretty happy. He was a pretty good basketball player.”

At an on-campus service, Galbraith’s father, Dr. Richard Galbraith, reportedly spoke and informed the audience that both his son and Freeman are expected to recover. 

At a candlelight vigil that followed the service, Will Blauvelt, who identified himself as having been present with Freeman, Galbraith, and Hedges at the time they were struck, spoke before the crowd describing the tragic event. 

“A car sort of swerved off to the side,” Blauvelt said. “It kept swerving right off the road and hit the three of them…I sat with them for ten minutes till EMS got there...I really thought [Michael] was going to make it.” Blauvelt finished his unforgettable story saying “I am shocked at the horrible event that took Mike away from us. And I hope maybe, just maybe, clarity can help people through this.”

Gorman, a former employee of the college, is scheduled to appear in the Greenfield Town Court on December 14 at 7 p.m. Gorman, according to information put out by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s office, is currently being charged with driving while intoxicated and three counts of first degree felony vehicular assault. Those charges are reportedly likely to change due to the death of Hedges early Sunday morning. Click here for story on helping students grieve.

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